Council pays tribute to ‘The King’ of rugby – Barry John

Carmarthenshire County Council Leader Cllr Darren Price has paid tribute to one of the greats of Welsh rugby, Barry John who has sadly passed away.

Regarded as one of the finest rugby players the world has seen, the Cefneithin born and raised outside-half died peacefully on Sunday, aged 79.

Only a teenager when he made his try-scoring debut for Llanelli, Barry John would go on to represent Cardiff, Wales and the Lions.

During his tenure on the international stage Wales won three Five Nations titles, a Grand Slam and two Triple Crowns, however during the Lions 1971 tour of New Zealand, the country’s press anointed him “The King” following his masterful play in ensuring the Lions one and only series victory over the All Blacks. 

Barry John represented his country 25 times and played 4 tests for the Lions between 1966 and 1972.


Cllr Price, speaking on behalf of the Council, said: “Barry John was a magician on the rugby field and, whilst his time on the international rugby arena was short, he gave so much pleasure to so many people. There are generations of rugby fans born after he retired from playing who are mesmerised by footage of his majestic skills.


“This son of Cefneithin and Carmarthenshire was nicknamed “The King” in New Zealand, of all places, and we are very proud of him.


“Our thoughts and condolences are with Barry’s family and friends at this sad time. He will be greatly missed.”